CNIT 126 Policy


Sam Bowne
Web Site: E-mail:


Practical Malware Analysis: The Hands-On Guide to Dissecting Malicious Software, by Michael Sikorski and Andrew Honig; ISBN-10: 1593272901


The number of points you accumulate during the semester determines your final grade. You can earn points in the following areas:
11 Quizzes @ 20 pts. each220 points
16 projects (estimated)330 points
Final Exam  80 points
Total630 points
Your final letter grade is determined from your total points as shown below:
90% or moreA
80% - 89.99%B
60% - 79.99%C
50% - 59.99%D
49.99% or lessF
Please keep all graded papers until you have received your official grade report. If there is any dispute over a recorded score, you must produce the graded paper. This course allows "Pass/No Pass" grading, if that option is requested before the deadline.


There will be quizzes almost every week, each worth 20 points. Each quiz focuses on recent material but may also cover material from the beginning of the semester. The quizzes will be based on class lectures as well as the textbook and techniques you have used on the related homework assignments.

There will be NO makeup quizzes. Quizzes missed due to unavoidable absences, or absences arranged in advance, will be assigned a score determined from averaging scores from other quizzes or the final exam.

However, if a student's percentage scores on all the quizzes combined falls below that student's percentage score on the final exam, due to missed quizzes or any other reason, the quizzes will be assigned a percentage score equal to the final exam percentage score. This means that a student who has done well on the homework but badly on the quizzes can still get a good final grade by doing well on the final exam.

Final Exam

The final exam covers all material for the semester. No notes or aids are permitted during the final exam.


Projects are posted on my Website:


Projects submitted up to 2 weeks late will lose 5 points in addition to any points lost through errors. Projects more than two weeks late are worth no credit. There will be extra-credit projects as well, which are not required but which will increase your score if you do them correctly.

Since this is a hands-on computer course, you should plan on spending at least 3-6 hours per week of computer time in addition to normal study time outside of class.

Professional Communication

It is very important for technical professionals to communicate in a polite and effective manner, especially when using email or other online services. Students are expected to be professional in all communications in this course.

Students who send hostile, rude, or abusive messages will suffer a point penalty, typically -5 points, which they can earn back by re-writing their message in a professional manner.

Email Response Time

Projects and other emails should be answered within 7 days. However, sometimes emails get lost--if you don't have an answer after 7 days, please speak to your instructor in class about it.

Ethics and Cheating

Security professionals are held to high standards of ethics, like police officers. Lying, copying others' work and passing it off as your own, and performing cybercrimes will not be tolerated in this class. Offenders will be punished by losing points, or by immediate expulsion and a final grade of F, at the discretion of the instructor. If you are unsure whether something is unethical, please discuss it with your instructor before submitting questionable work for credit.

Students who demonstrate serious irresponsibility or immaturity may be expelled at any time.

Warning: Hackers in Lab S214

Do not do online banking, shopping, or personal emailing in S214. Students are doing “Ethical Hacking” projects in that room that involve eavesdropping on other machines. They are stealing passwords from the computers and the network. If you wish to send email from S214, you should make a new email account just for that purpose and use a password that you don't use anywhere else.

Passwords stolen from lab machines appear on the "Wall of Sheep" in the lab.

Hacking Sam

Students (and everyone else) are invited to find my security vulnerabilities and report them to me. If you take reasonable precautions not to anyone or disrupt my classes, I promise not to prosecute you. Students who hack me earn extra credit, and appear on the Hall of Fame.

How To Succeed in This Class

You need these things to succeed:

1. Prerequisite knowledge: You need to have a basic understanding of computer programming. If you don't have that knowledge, you should take CS 110A before taking this class.

2. Access to a computer and the Internet: You need to have a computer you can use for at least three hours a week, either PC or Mac. If you don't have a computer, you will need to schedule at least three hours a week to work in the S214 computer lab.

3. The textbook. It is pointless to attempt this course without having the textbook. You will also need the "lecture notes and projects" book.

4. Time to study: You will need to study the textbook for at least three hours per week. You will need a quiet place without distractions for that. This time is in addition to the time you will need for hands-on projects.

Before You Withdraw

If you are doing poorly in the class, and considering withdrawal, please contact your instructor and/or Carmen Lamha at to discuss your situation. Many resources are available to help you, and we can help you find them.


I reserve the right to change any of these policies as necessary during the semester and will inform you of any changes.